Date: Fri, 8 May 2009 11:38:17 -0400
Reply-To: Carl Zipfel <czipfel**At_Symbol_Here**COMCAST.NET>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Carl Zipfel <czipfel**At_Symbol_Here**COMCAST.NET>
Subject: Re: UCLA Incident - OSHA Lab Standard
In-Reply-To: <F0F1A8C9AF307A4C92D7A84F3941CF9907C72625**At_Symbol_Here**>

This case aside:

1 – I believe that Cal/OSHA is a standalone agency, as California is not regulated by OSHA.  Has it incorporated OSHA’s lab standard?

2 –The NY Times article aside:  While every death is a tragedy, occupational fatality rates in the US dropped to the lowest level ever in 2007, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics.  With most occurring in the traditional occupations of trucking, construction and logging.  This drop was despite significant increases in workplace homicides and law enforcement deaths while on-duty, all of which are included in the total.  Let’s not lose sight of the fact that OSHA has accomplished more with outreach, and leadership than it ever accomplished with the hammer(IMHO). 

Carl Zipfel csp

EHS Management Systems LLC

From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**] On Behalf Of Reinhardt, Peter
Sent: Friday, May 08, 2009 10:40 AM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
Subject: [DCHAS-L] UCLA Incident - OSHA Lab Standard

We are all saddened by this tragedy. As safety professionals, we all know that there are many contributing factors in such an incident, some of which we probably still don’t completely understand from a distance.

 < /o:p>

In the coverage, I’m surprised that there have been few references to the OSHA Lab Standard and the Chemical Hygiene Plan. The OLS/CHP is key to laboratory safety, so it should be very relevant to this incident. (The CalOSHA citation only cited the training requirements of the OLS.)

 < /o:p>

I wonder—are the OSHA Lab Standard requirements sufficiently rigorous to minimize the possibility of this type of accident? If not, perhaps DivCHAS should suggest improvements to the OLS/CHP, or create a new model CHP. Is something out there already?

 < /o:p>

BTW, in December 2003 the New York Times ran a series of articles about OSHA’s weak enforcement of workplace fatalities. See fa=legalUpdateDisp&content_id=1089 for more information. Only in the U.S. is the maximum fine for a workplace fatality is $7,000, while the maximum fine for leaving a cap off a hazardous waste container is $27,500. Some states have higher fines for littering.

 < /o:p>


 < /o:p>

Peter A. Reinhardt

Director, Office of Environmental Health & Safety

Yale University< /span>

135 College St., Suite 100

New Haven, CT   06510-2411< /span>< /span>

(203) 737-2123

peter.reinha rdt**At_Symbol_Here**< /span>

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